By now we all know the name Monsanto and think of it in sort of the same way Harry Potter thought of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
In an article out earlier this month, Truthout.org reported that Monsanto might be getting this same type of reverence and immunity…from the federal government.
The “Monsanto rider” is situated to allow Monsanto all the freedom in the world, literally, to plant whatever they feel like, whenever they feel like. How? As Truthout puts it:
“A so-called ‘Monsanto rider,’ quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, would require – not just allow, but require – the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed. All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and, ultimately, the nation’s food supply.”
Monsanto asks, and it shall receive. Because the biotech company is among the most profitable in the world, it has a lot of clout and leverage to make these sorts of bills happen. Plus, the rider was rammed through over the Fourth of July holiday. How patriotic. (Similarly, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act slipped by in with under 10 votes using the suspension of the rules procedure.)
Besides GMOs being dangerous to the environment and the world’s food supply (discussed frequently on Eat Drink Better), several groups are calling the bill unconstitutional, a back-door amendment as well as counter-productive to the USDA. “Worse yet, it’s an affront to everyone who believes the US judicial system exists to protect US citizens and public health,” reported Truthout.
Please read this petition if you wish to learn more, and sign if you feel led.
Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, brandoncripps